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15 July 2016, 16:53
More like 'Gap YEAH', amirite?
Exams are over, summer is here and you're probably thinking about what to do next. Usually it's a choice between three things: go to university, get a job or go on a gap year. And let's face it, you wanna take the fun option.
Now obviously education and making money are important but you only get one chance to explore this planet of ours, so you might as well get started early.
We've compiled a little list of the weird and wonderful places to give ya'll a little inspo. And if you wanna buy us a ticket to any of these places, don't hesitate to get in touch. I'm free any time. Honestly. Please?
No, this isn't a very realistic photoshop image by a soft grunge Tumblr account. This pink lake is legit real. Lake Hillier, found in Western Australia, is pink all year round. It's thought to be pink because of the presence of a organism called Dunaliella Salina (no, me neither). The most important thing is that YES YOU CAN SWIM IN IT. Mate, insta pics don't come better than being bathed in a pink lake, fam.
Somewhere in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile (the driest non-polar desert on Earth), just off the Pan-American Highway, is a small gravel road that leads to a 36ft cement hand that rises up from the ground. It's called La Mano del Desiert (literally "the Hand of the Desert") and the sculpture was designed by artist Mario Irarrázabal. The hand is said to symbolise human vulnerability and helplessness, and it's huge size is as breathtaking as it's poignancy.
Embrace your inner cat lady and take a trip to Japan, where there are whole islands overrun with cats. One such island, Tashirojima, has only a hundred humans in comparison to thousands of cats. So far, they mostly seem friendly. But if the cat uprising begins and you happen to be on the island, you only have yourself to blame, quite frankly.
Ok, so this is a backpackers classic and has been going for a very long time. But, there's still something a bit mental about thousands of people gathering during the full moon on Koh Phangan, Thailand, for a massive rave up. Thousands of people go and it can get a bit hectic, so look after yourself, but it's likely to be an unforgettable evening...depending on how many buckets you drink.
The history of Hampi is said to go back to 3rd century BC and there are literally thousands of (mostly deserted) temples dating hundreds of years old littered across it's otherworldy landscape. You'll need at least five days here to see the main attractions, then a few more to unwind in Hampi Bizarre. Watch out for all the monkeys. Seriously.
Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico ever year between Oct 31st - Nov 2nd to remember and honour the dead. Contrary to how it might sound, it's a very colourful holiday, in which Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate the graves, and make elaborately decorated alters in their homes to welcome the spirits. Halloween ain't got shit on this.
Naughty kids, listen up. East Berlin has many buildings that, since the fall of communism in 1991, have been left abandoned. It's essentially become a playground for urban adventurers (there are even organised tours that help you break in to them!) But if you're going to sneak into any of them, the abandoned theme park, Spreepark, is a must visit. It's become so popular that there are a limited number guided tours. But where's the fun in that?
Are you salty af? Then this is for you. Salar de Uyuni can be found in the Andes in southwest Bolivia, and it's the world’s largest salt flat. Around 20,000 years ago, it used to be a lake that went dry, and it left behind a desertlike landscape of bright-white salt. Might need your sunglasses for this one.
At this hotel, the English-speaking receptionist is a vicious-looking dinosaur and the concierge is a doll-like hairless robot. Yep, Henn-na Hotel is a hotel run by robots. The literal translation is "Strange Hotel" and you can see why. Apparently it was set up as an experiment to reduce staffing costs. Think I'd rather pay more for humans tbh but spending the night with robots in charge would be an experience, to say the least.
The Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden brings to life Buddhist teachings about Buddhist hell in a series of increasingly gruesome scenes. After passing under a "Welcome to Hell!" sign, you pass all sorts of scenes of terror: sinners being boiled, torn apart by dogs and various other torture scenes. Good place to take a date, I reckon.
Mate, it's a massive slide. What more do you need to know? Well, the Orbit Tower in East London, built next to the 2012 Olympic Stadium, now has what they claim to be the world’s highest and longest tunnel slide. It circles the tower 12 times and ends with a 50m straight run back down to earth, reaching speeds of up to 24kmph. Amazing.